Clays bolsters bindery with Petratto investment

By Richard Stuart-Turner, Monday 07 January 2019

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Clays has invested in a Petratto Cordoba heavy duty folder-gluer to support the evolution of its bindery.


Bullen (L) with Petratto sales and product manager Diego Casagrande

The machine, which was supplied by Intelligent Finishing Systems (IFS), was installed at the firm’s Bungay, Suffolk facility in November.

It has enabled the business to introduce two-up book production to make its operations more cost-effective, efficient and streamlined.

“We needed a system that could fold and glue two-up,” said general manager Paul Bullen.

“We were outsourcing the work, but our suppliers could only produce one-up. Two-up is much more efficient and we wanted to start completing more jobs that way.”

The company first considered the Petratto Cordoba in 2013 but for various operational reasons the project was put on hold and picked up again 12 months ago.

The Cordoba range uses a matrix system to crease substrates prior to folding. It incorporates a traditional folding section with a knife and matrix creasing unit.

The folder has a modified roller configuration and fold plate angle, which eliminates cracking and curls when folding heavy stocks.

It can crease a wide range of substrates from 80 to 600gsm, including heavy boards or plastics, lamination, cross grain and digital print, and can fold from 140 to 600gsm.

“We liked the fact that it easily manages short runs too – from 100 to 100,000,” said Bullen.

“The best thing about it is its fast change over. Other systems glue and plough fold and that can take up to an hour to change jobs on. This is much faster.”

The UK’s biggest book printer, Clays was founded 200 years ago. Last May the business was bought by Italian firm Elcograf for £23.8m and later in the year it installed an HP PageWide T490HD web press.

With a restructured board now in place, Clays currently employs around 700 people and turns over £76.5m. It prints around 150 million books a year and also offers a distribution service.

The business runs a wide range of conventional and digital kit for production from one copy to millions in a variety of formats. One of its machines, a Timson web press, suffered a small fire on 1 October, but the situation was quickly dealt with and caused “no impact at all” to service.

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